Thursday, September 16, 2010

Personally, I Blame Jeremy C. Shipp For This

He very kindly send me a pdf of Fungus of the Heart. I said to myself, "It's short stories. I'll print them out one at a time."

If there is something I do not like, it is reading long pieces on the computer. Especially for entertainment. But I'm not going to turn down a book from an author just because of that.

Then, he extra kindly slipped me Cursed at the same time ... as a pdf.

The book whose review drew him to my attention in the first place.


No problem. I could read it on the computer. Not that big a deal. Really. I'd manage. Bravely. (It goes without saying, though I thought I would point it out to you just in case you missed it.)

I told Tom about my good fortune in scoring those two books.

Who looked at me and said, "The new Kindle is only $139. And they have it at Target."


It turns out I can get to the nearest Target in five minutes.

They didn't have it. But Amazon is getting one to me by Friday. The dears.

So, actually it is Tom's fault. (That's enabling, right? I couldn't help myself.)

Although I thought I was disinterested in e-readers and every conversation I had about them made me feel disinterested ... obviously my sub-brain knew differently from the speed with which I responded. (Sub-brain ... you know. I think it's a Lovecraftian thing. Or maybe Edgar Rice Burroughs? Robert E. Howard? Anyway. I digress.)

At one point, I surfaced to sanity and said bravely, "You know, I could just buy the darned book for about seven bucks, now that I think of it. Just because I was given a free pdf is no reason to spend $139."

(Brave again. I know. I'm just like that.)

"I never thought of that," Tom said, but in a detached way. "Huh. Well, we're bound to have one eventually. The technology is headed in that direction."

"If you say so," and I sank back into the warm waters of E-reader/Gadget Instant Gratification, spending much of the evening perusing the artistic protective skins available.

I told you he was an enabler.

[I figured I'd wind up with some sort of e-reader sooner or later. After all, someone podcasting public domain books has to have access to Project Gutenberg's pdfs somehow. I've been printing out what I needed whenever it came up. Eventually I was going to run into something that was too big print out.

So, actually ... I blame the podcast. From the bottom of my sub-brain. ]


  1. Let me know when you get it. I can get you monthly files for the Liturgy of the Hours, and give you some other tips.

    Also: You may not have much joy with PDFs on Kindle. They don't play all that well together, unless the new version of the hardware adds some features I'm unaware of.

  2. We did check out what they claimed for pdfs as thoroughly as we could before going to Target, actually. Not sure if it is just hot air, but they say you can email them to your Kindle account and ... maybe convert them? I guess I'll find out.

  3. Oh, you can get them on your device (and you don't need to email them, at a charge, in order to do that). They're just not that easy on the eyes: you can't format them and both adjust the size of the type AND get the text to wrap properly. They don't behave like normal Kindle files, unless the 3rd gen hardware does something different.

    I still think it's great. I'll introduce you to your new best friend: Mobi classic collections:

    They're why I own a Kindle. (Also: it was free.)

  4. Oh well ... free! Of course you've got one then. :-D

    I saw that they had a lot of public-domain free books. And then, as I say, there is Project Gutenberg. A free e-booker's best friend, I would think.

  5. This may just be me, but I actually buy the formatted PD books from Mobi rather than just using the free Kindle or Gutenberg versions. The formatted collections do all the work for you, make it look nice, and give everything a nice hyperlinked way to navigate around. With giant collections, this is essential. For a few bucks, for instance, you get the complete Chesterton or Conan Doyle in a single file with active tables of contents and easy navigation.

  6. I completely believe you.

    I think we may have different goals though. First, I pay no money I don't have to. I can get Chesterton and Dickens (etc.) from the library. I have no interest (at this point ... I never say never!) in reading them on the Kindle. I like books just fine. Or via LibriVox or library-available audio.

    I am interested chiefly in reading the Gutenberg because of the wealth of sci-fi and mystery available.

    As with my iPod, where I listen to free podcasts or music that we've converted from CDs, I will have to get used to the pdf and Kindle thing. I can see paying some of the fairly nominal fees for old books that the library doesn't have ... such as Who Killed William Drew (though I see that isn't on Kindle) ... but there would be very few. Ideally, anyway.

  7. You might also want to check out Volunteer-formatted versions of gutenberg (and other books) available for free in all the major ebook formats.

  8. Ha, I know what you mean since I never thought I was an e-reading type.. Until I was!

    I read Dawn Eden's long Theology of the Body thesis on my Kindle, happily and satisfactorily.

  9. Welcome to the eBook reading world.

    One thing about reading free Project Gutenberg books is that you just might catch up on classics you have been meaning to read.

    Oh and by the way it is not PDF format at Project Gutenberg - though they directly support the Kindle format. PDF support isn't all that great on e-Ink readers because of the formatting which doesn't always resize correctly.

    So far I have 262 books on my iPad and while the majority of them are free from Project Gutenberg, I do have a growing collection of Kindle books. Though of those 262 books there are only a couple I haven't already read. When you don't have room for more bookshelves It is nice to be able to scroll through your catalog. Though since you mostly get them from the library you don't have that problem. I am pretty much a book packrat and haven't been to the library in years.